Monthly Archives: May 2011

Vegan Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting [The Elvis]

In the next 24 hours, the following things would’ve happened.

I’d be wearing leggings and a massive over-sized shirt, trying to get as comfy as I can on a plane. I’d have seen Narita Airport and eaten sushi in Japan. I’d have brushed my teeth in a tiny cubicle kazillion of feet in the air. I’d have hopefully finished indulging myself in the mindless drama of Gossip Girl. I’d have eaten vegan Elvis cupcakes. I’d finally get to meet my extended family in the States. New York, here I come!!!

Please understand that what’s fueling my 3-days-straight of 5.5hr sleep nights is pure adrenaline and a healthy dose of sugar. Hopefully this puts me to sleep like a baby tonight on the plane and no crying babies keep me awake. But I’m sure with the amount of excitement running through my veins, even that might be less annoying than it usually is. Am I even making coherent sentences?

Next time I blog I’ll be in an entirely different land, so please excuse me if the posts are few and far between. But I’ll try my best, and be sure there’ll be an update the moment I get my hands-a-typing again! Looks like 3 weeks til my next post, til then, you can head to the archives for a list of all the things to keep your sweet tooth at bay. Big love!

This is also my submission to the wonderful Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free round up. This month’s theme is Garden Tea Party, and I can’t wait to see what everyone else has come up with!

Vegan Elvis Cupcakes by Sweets by Vicky

2 cups GF flour blend
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup golden caster sugar
1/2 cup oil
4 large, ripe bananas
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup soy/coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips

1) Line a 12-capacity muffin tin with cupcakes liners. Preheat oven to 175°C.

2) In medium bowl, mash the bananas and mix in the honey, vanilla and milk.

3) In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and sugar together. Make a well in the centre and add in the oil and banana mix. Mix well, mixture shouldn’t be too runny but not stiff either. If it’s stiff, add in 1-2 tbsp of soy/coconut milk.

4) Pour batter into prepared tins. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 cup creamy smooth peanut butter
2/3-1 cup unrefined icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup dairy-free tablespread

1) In a bowl of a standmixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. If it’s very stiff, add 2 tsp of water or milk and beat. Add more if needed.

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Filed under Chocolate, Frostings, Fruit, Recipes

Grasshopper Pie

Best thing to do on the first non-working Monday in awhile; watch Gossip Girl until 3.30am and sleeeep in until lunch.

But Murphy’s Law would have it that my soon-to-be neighbours are going through a massive bout of renovations and drilling my brains out before my alarm clock even gets a chance to rudely awaken me. Rats. I hate them before we even get to know each other.

Luckily, sleepy-eyed me gets to have leftover pie for breakfast and soothe my aching head and lazy ass.

Forgive me if I get this all wrong, but two things came to mind when I saw “Grasshopper Pie”. They may be significantly different thoughts but two associations I nonetheless  made.

1) Thailand

2) White chocolate and mint

But see, this recipe doesn’t come from Thailand (I’m referring to the deep fried insect variety) and it doesn’t have white chocolate and mint. So why walk around in it’s green heels and lie to me? Well, apparently ‘Grasshopper’ anything just refers to chocolate and mint, not really specifically being white chocolate. Bummer.

Next thing two thoughts when I read the recipe thoroughly…

1) I get to melt marshmallows into gooey pasty sludge YAY!

2) How am I ever going to find a gluten free cookie for the base which won’t cost me an arm and a foot? Nay.

Last time I made my own cookie base it resembled oily sand or…sandy oil. Wasn’t pretty and more definitely didn’t set up nicely. In fact! It didn’t set up at all. But it was merely a simple thing of experimenting and praying and the cookie base for this pie came to be. Slightly crumbly but…it retains its crunch and is far better than oily sand.

And as for the marshmallow melting, it was fun, tense but mostly just really awesome seeing a big pile of fluffy wilt down into nothing but a pasty looking gluey mixture.

Perhaps the most important thing here is to abandon logic and add a layer of melted chocolate to the base and letting it set up before adding the minty layer. And a great idea (which I kick myself for not thinking of earlier) is to add chocolate chips to the mint layer. More chocolate is better than not enough chocolate. Are you with me?

Grasshopper Pie

Base

1/2 recipe Thin, Chewy Cookies, baked for 2-3 minutes longer to make them crisp
1/4 cup butter, melted

1) Once cookies have been baked and cooled, bash half of them up with a rolling pin to create crumbs. Process the other half in a food processor until it looks like wet crumbs.  I find that processing half in the food processor causes them to get quite sticky, which is good because it acts like a glue. Mix together with the butter and press into a pie dish, on the bottom and up the sides. Let chill for 1 hour or freeze it for 30 minutes and add 120g of melted and cooled chocolate to the base. Spread evenly and up the sides.

Mint Filling (From The Hummingbird Bakery- Cake Days)

180g large white marshmallows
180ml whole milk (I used about 2 tablespoons more)
1/4 tsp peppermint essence (I used 1/2 tsp)
1/8 tsp green food colouring (I used 1/4 tsp)
300ml whipping/double cream, very cold

1)  In a saucepan over a low heat, melt the marshmallows in the milk. It gets quite frustrating when they dont seem to melt properly and look like lumps. Whisk it out vigorously and it should remove a majority of the lumps. The remaining bits shouldn’t affect your final product.

2) Remove from heat and add the essence and colouring. Mix until fully combined. Let cool for 10-15 minutes.

3) In the bowl of an electric mixer, add in the cream and whip on high until soft peaks (I’ll go for slightly stiffer peaks) form. Fold carefully into the mint mixture and pour into cookie base. Let set for 2 hours.

To Finish

300ml whipping/double cream

1) Whip the cream on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Pile it onto the chilled pie and create waves and bountiful curves with a spatula. Chocolate shavings are optional. I like the pristine whiteness of the pie unadorned.

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Filed under Chocolate, Pie, Recipes

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

This morning feels slightly different. It’s a Friday, that’s a good reason to feel a little somethingsomething in the air. It’s also my last day at work, with a few days break before I fly off next week. But I think the real reason why there’s change in the air is this; I have chocolate cookies baking.

But these aren’t ordinary cookies. They require much more effort and you need to whip out a large knife, which in my opinion, makes baking a much more intense process. I LOVE IT!

It’s a strange thing when there’s a new found skip in your step, you want to do something new. Partake in an activity that requires a little extra step or a new route. It’s equivalent to a new found freedom, to abandon the same paths we take to get to a point that’s the same as before but the scenary’s now totally different. What’s that called? Hmm…perspective?

So these cookies gave me a new perspective. They’re thin and chewy; two characteristics that don’t usually belong together. But there’s definitely no reason why they shouldn’t. After all, a large puffy chewy cookie borders on being a flat cake to me. But what’s really quite cool about this cookie is the fact that the chocolate gets chopped into tiny pieces and mixed into the cookie, offering an intense chocolate-y-ness in each bite. It’s spread throughout the cookie so not one has more or less chips.

Thin and Chewy Chocolate Cookies (adapted from here)

2 cups GF flour blend

1 scant tbsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking soda

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

240g unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract

300g finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

240g almond meal

1. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. In a bowl, beat sugars and butter with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time; beat in vanilla. Add reserved flour mixture, chocolate, and ground almonds; mix until just combined.

2. Heat oven to 160°C. Divide dough into 1 tbsp portions; roll into balls, transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheets spaced 3″ apart, and flatten. Bake until set, about 15 minutes.

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Filed under Chocolate, Cookies, Nuts, Recipes